5 Questions To Find Out if Product Listing Ads Can Work For You

By Tinuiti Team

Google Product Listing Ads are pretty great for retailers. But sometimes the program is just plain ole not cut out for your business. Let’s dive into some self-assessment to see if you’re compatible with the #1 ranked product advertising program.

What’s your product category?

Google has their official restricted products list AND their unofficial restricted products list. If your product category looks like either of these lists, you probably won’t be allowed to list on Google Shopping (guns, tobacco products, and random vitamin ingredients are of note).


If your products are permissible on Google Shopping, your product category will also determine the level of competition you’ll see as an advertiser. There are no clear cut rule of thumbs, but it’s safe to say that Apparel sees a lot of clicks but also a lot more competition and niche product categories can be hit or miss (usually lower than normal click volume).

How much are you willing to spend?

Your ROI goals will be a huge influence on your PLA budget, but a solid rule of thumb for monthly ad spend is a minimum of $1000. This $1000 will go to clicks alone, and the amount you bid every day, how often you check on your campaign, how you structure your campaign, and the daily budget thresholds you set will determine how far your monthly PLA budget will go.

How many products do you have?

There are merchants who send as little as 200 products to Google Shopping and those that send over 10,000. The range is significant, but generally speaking you want at least around 500 products to be competitive.

This is because your product count will determine how well you can build out your campaign based on performance data and also how granular you can get with your ad group structure.

Is your site optimized?

The fact that Google Shopping is a comparison shopping engine is either a beauty or a burden for retailers. Because shoppers get linked to your site to make a purchase, your store needs to be optimized to handle this incoming traffic and reliably convert shoppers.


Assess your product page and checkout process. Does the design give off a bad vibe? Are you making your CTAs as clear as possible? You may want to do some A/B testing before starting up with PLAs.

Are you pleasing the feed?

Though the new Shopping Campaigns format puts less emphasis on your product feed when structuring your campaign, it’s still imperative that your product data is optimized. This includes tweaking product descriptions to increase product ad relevancy. Head here to learn about product feed optimization.

Not to mention, all of this is moot point if you don’t have a comprehensive product data feed or are technically unable to consistently export product data to Google.

Ready to own the bottom of the funnel? The new Google Shopping Campaigns Guide is here for you to stay ahead of the curve.

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